As an openly gay member of the community, I cannot believe that these austere platitudes are still uttered in this day, that which was mentioned in an earlier submission. Being a co-president of Red Hook’s Gay Straight Alliance, I can inform you that we work to spread awareness and education for the greater good. We do not try to change people or their beliefs, we simply aim to educate them that diversity exists and that everyone should be able to normally conduct their lives while coexisting. We are not necessarily demanding approval. Instead we ask for respect for all individuals. By no means is someone required to condone every aspect of life, but to project hateful views upon other people as though you have entitlement? That is completely absurd.
I have walked through the center of my own village and have had slurs and profane language yelled at me, and for what reason? Because someone would rather fill their heart with hate? Someone would rather detest me because I am gay, something that is only relevant in addressing who I am attracted to, which is just a small facet of my life. Simply put, if you do not like homosexuality or any other gender or sexuality association, do not take part in it.
Do I take a row in the front pew at church? No, but is that to say that I have made it my mission to offend religious people? Do I actively work to suppress people because of a conflict in principles? No. The Day of Silence is a way to draw attention to an important social issue. No one is forced into participating, thus it is no more than a voluntary demonstration, which leaves people to develop their own opinions about the matter.
The American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of Social Workers have all unanimously agreed that conversion therapy is, at best, of little worth and, at worst, life-threatening.
I feel disheartened to know that someone hates me and refers to the LGBTQ community as inferior beings. I feel disheartened to know that someone would judge me because of something I have no control of. I feel disheartened to know that someone would think that I would choose to be made a mockery of.